Update: Citizens for a Better Greenville County

Posted by: Greenville Chamber on Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Greenville County Council passed an ordinance last week to place a referendum on the November ballot to allow county residents the opportunity to vote on increasing the sales tax by one cent as an effort to improve Greenville’s crumbling infrastructure. In case you have not followed this issue closely, here's a brief synopsis of how we got to this point. Our 2014 Legislative Agenda, states that the Chamber supports finding “dedicated funding and stable revenue for state road maintenance and repair” and “increasing investment in Upstate roads and bridges, specifically I-85 and I-26.” The Chamber’s Public Policy team has worked tirelessly with other interested groups around the state to push transportation-focused legislation through at the State House with little progress being seen at a state level. Despite these efforts, legislators have been unable to find a compromise to address South Carolina’s infrastructure needs – needs that amount to $29.3 billion from SCDOT estimates. This delay in progress is part of what spurred Greenville County Council to take action. In October 2013, Greenville County Council appointed an 18 member committee selected by County Council and the City Councils within the County to study and recommend improvements to road condi­tions. The Greenville County Citizen Roads Advisory Commission (GCCRAC) held seven community forums attended by hundreds of citizens and received hundreds of surveys regarding transportation related issues. The committee’s report truly articulates the dire nature of the situation in every municipal­ity and throughout Greenville County. County Council studied and discussed the GCCRAC report and made a final decision last week (June 3rd) to place a referendum on the November ballot for a sales tax to fund road and infrastructure improvements, by a vote of 8 to 3. Rev­enue derived from the sales tax will be directly applied to address projects only in Greenville County, all of which will be listed on the ballot. In April, the Greenville Chamber’s Board of Directors voted to encourage Greenville County Council to place a referendum on the ballot in November as a means of funding for road and infrastructure improvements. As we move forward with this process, the Greenville Chamber will continue to support this referendum as a viable solution to our infrastructure problem. The Greenville Chamber and other interested parties around the county created a group called Citizens for a Better Greenville County to help educate the public and lead a campaign on this important issue. If you would like to become more involved, you can show your support through liking and following the Citizens for a Better Greenville County Facebook page. If you have questions, please feel free to contact me. Elizabeth Edwards Government Relations Manager and Lobbyist Greenville Chamber of Commerce Upstate Chamber Coalition 864.239.3748 (direct) eedwards@greenvillechamber.org

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